Formula 3 - Drivers of the Season 2020
Here's who impressed over the course of the exciting 2020 campaign.
1. Oscar Piastri
There was never really any doubt that the 2020 Formula 3 Champion would be on this list. The Australian driver made it onto the podium six times this season, with two of those being race wins - the Austrian Feature Race and the Spanish Sprint Race. Piastri finished in the points on all but three occasions this year - and two of those were due to retirements from the race rather than finishing outside of the points scoring places like he did at the Feature Race in Mugello. After the Sprint Race at Monza and the aforementioned Feature Race in Mugello, it became that bit harder for Piastri to win the Championship due to not gaining any valuable Championship points. But he was able to keep his cool in the final race and get just enough points to see off Theo Pourchaire and beat him by three Championship Points. It might not have been much - but it was enough and that's what counts. With all round good performances, Piastri will hopefully make his debut in Formula 2 in 2021 and this promotion is rightly earned.
2. Logan Sargeant
In his second season in Formula 3, Sargeant narrowly missed out on the Championship after a racing incident in the final race of the season that put him out of contention. Up to then, he'd been doing an excellent job racing for PREMA with two wins under his belt and a further four podium finishes to his name. Monza was a round to forget for him but aside from this, he got the most out of the 2020 season that he could to show his talent behind the wheel. If he remains in Formula 3 for next year or makes the leap into Formula 2 currently remains to be seen. But with Haas staying in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future, it might be worth their time to put him into an F2 team so that they can possibly place him into an F1 car in the next few years. An American driver in an American F1 team would be great and with the talent that Sargeant has shown, it seems only logical. He's another driver to watch in the future.
3. Enzo Fittipaldi
A driver that may surprise some people by being on this list - so let me tell you why he is. The 19 year old made his F3 debut this year with HWA Racelab and spent a lot of the season in the backend of the midfield. But there were several occasions where he finished in the points and his performance in the final round of the season in Mugello - fifth in the Feature Race and fourth in the Sprint Race - was a great way for him to end his rookie season. He made some great overtakes in the final two races and it's for these reasons that I think he's worth mentioning on this list. Hopefully next year, Fittipaldi scoring points is not an uncommon sight.
4. Theo Pourchaire
The driver that makes us all feel old is up next. The seventeen year old had an impressive first year in Formula 3, winning two races and getting on the podium another six times after this, four of which were at the last four races of the season. I won't be terribly shocked if he also makes the jump into Formula 2 for next year. But if he remains in Formula 3, he'll be a serious title contender in 2021. Extremely confident in the car, many underestimated him due to his age but after races such as the Feature Race in Spa, people won't be doing that again. He seems to just know exactly where to place the car the majority of the time which gives fans some great wheel to wheel racing. But for all his raw speed, he still has some way to go on developing his other skills in the car as well as being slightly less hot headed when things don't completely go his way but I doubt this will be something he neglects going into next season.
5. Alex Peroni
After his shunt in Monza back in 2019 (see video below) Peroni made a solid comeback in 2020. He was on the podium following the first race in Austria when he came home in third and repeated this result again in Silverstone before doing one better and coming in second in Barcelona. Finishing tenth overall in the Championship, the Australian driver had a good season that he should be happy with. I suspect he'll remain in Formula 2 for 2021 but if he can build on the results from this year, there may yet be a path for him into Formula 1.
6. Sophia Flörsch
Whilst her debut season in Formula 3 wasn't anything too special overall results wise, I feel I should give Sophia a mention. Not just because she's the first female driver to race for a full season in Formula 3 (how did it take this long?) but because she still managed to beat one of her teammates (Deledda) as well as five other drivers in the standings, showing that she deserves a spot in Formula 3 as much as anybody else. It would have been awesome to see her get some points (her twelfth place finish in Monza was as close as we got and was an air punching moment for me) but that's not the main point here. Whether she stays in Formula 3 for another season (I hope she does) or goes off racing somewhere else, Sophia still managed to open the door for more female drivers to come and drive in Formula 3 in the future. At the end of the day, we want to make sure that every driver gets a go as long as they can prove they are able to race well. Sophia opened the door, did this and got her chance - and that's brilliant to see.
7. Frederik Vesti
A three time race winner in 2020, Vesti had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Whilst his teammates were battling it out for the Championship, Vesti could just keep his head down and do his own thing. As a result, he drove rather well and ended up as the best of the rest by finishing in fourth place in the Drivers' Championship. With four trips to the podium in total and some close but excellent and fair racing with other drivers and his teammate (edge of your seat action at times like in the Sprint Race in Mugello), Vesti more than earned his place in the team and the category. He too will be a strong title contender next year. Vesti's also quite fun on the team radio which is an unsung quality in drivers these days but is one that is greatly appreciated by the fans.
Is there anyone else you think I should have included? What do you think of my choices? Let me know in the comments below.